How to Crate Train a Yorkshire Terrier

Medium
1-3 Months
General

Introduction

A Yorkshire Terrier puppy is a big ball of strength, courage, and independence in one tiny package. When your Yorkie is full grown, he could be anywhere between 3 to 6 pounds. He will not be very big, but his confidence and his bold behaviors will far exceed his size. If you are not careful with your Yorkshire Terrier at night while you sleep, he could tear up books, papers, mail, important documents, or anything else he might find, such as your couch or your carpet, and spread it from one end of the house to another. But if you train your Yorkshire Terrier to sleep in a crate during the night, he will not only have a place where he is confined, safe, and secure, but also quite comfortable for an entire night's sleep. Crate training your Yorkie for daytime activities will also help keep him entertained and safe while you are out of the house. Imagine the personal belongings you can protect when your Yorkie is well behaved and safe inside his own personal space!

Defining Tasks

Crate training your Yorkshire Terrier will take some dedication and lots of repetition. You should train your Yorkie to stay in his crate for night time sleep as well as any time you cannot keep an eye on him during the day. These times might include when you're out running errands, when you leave the house, or when you're at work during the day. If you're training a Yorkshire Terrier puppy, you will need to consider his house training while you're crate training. He will need to go potty every few hours until he's old enough to hold it all day. Your crate training should be repetitive and extremely rewarding. Be sure you are supplying your Yorkie with a small crate and comfortable bedding and toys to keep him comfortable, secure and entertained.

Getting Started

Crate training requires enough time with you in the house to train your Yorkshire Terrier to stay in the crate while he can see you, so he feels safe and secure. Your Yorkie is also going to work pretty hard for lots of tasty treats. Yorkshire Terriers are incredibly intelligent, so you can bet he will understand your requests for crate training, but because he's also incredibly courageous and bold, he may also challenge you and push back. Be sure you are equipped with an appropriate size crate. Your Yorkie will never be very big, so a small or tiny crate will suffice. Prepare your crate with soft bedding and fun toys for day training as well as night training.

The Safe Times Method

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Step
1
Schedule times
If you are able to be home during the day with your Yorkshire Terrier, schedule times to place him in the crate. These can be times you need to get chores done and can't keep an eye on your little pup, or they may be times your Yorkie is napping.
Step
2
After playtime
Put your Yorkshire Terrier in his crate after he has extended play time. Your Yorkie should be playing in 10 to 15-minute intervals throughout the day. While he's a little puppy, he will nap a lot. Be sure to take him potty and place him in his crate when it's time to nap.
Step
3
Housework
Anytime you are busy with a task that takes away the ability to keep an eye on your Yorkshire Terrier puppy, put him in his crate. Even if he's not sleepy, you can give him a treat or a chew toy to keep him entertained and occupied.
Step
4
Errands
Anytime you need to leave the house to run quick errands, put your Yorkshire Terrier in the crate. Just remember while he is very young he cannot be left alone in a crate for a long period of time because he will have to go potty every few hours.
Step
5
Nighttime
When it's time for sleep at night, place your pup inside his crate and go to bed. Each time you place him in his crate before bedtime, give him a treat and be sure he goes potty before you bid him good night.
Step
6
Getting used to it
The more you use your Yorkshire Terrier puppy's crate throughout the day and at night, the quicker he will get used to the idea of going into his crate on his own and the faster he will understand his crate is his safe place for him to be when you are away from the house or when he needs to sleep.
Step
7
Treats
Do not hesitate to give your Yorkshire Terrier a treat every time you put him in the crate and each time you open the crate to take him out. This rewards him for good behavior while in the crate and helps him to condition him for using the crate day in and day out and throughout the day and night.
Recommend training method?

The Open Door Method

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Step
1
Introduce the crate
Place the crate in a busy area within your home. This area can be in your bedroom or in your family room. You'll want it to be a place where you and your Yorkshire Terrier will visit often.
Step
2
Set up the crate
Set up your Yorkie's crate with comfortable, soft bedding and a couple of chew toys that are safe and quiet for him to chew on while he's waiting patiently to fall asleep or waiting for you to open the crate door.
Step
3
Leave the door open
With the crate door open, introduce the crate to your Yorkshire Terrier puppy. Place a treat inside the crate and encourage your Yorkie to go in the crate.
Step
4
Sit outside the crate
Situate yourself just outside the crate, leaving the door open. You can offer your Yorkshire Terrier another treat if you would like to encourage him to stay in the crate or you can sit there and talk quietly with him.
Step
5
Leave him alone
At some point, once your pup has settled down a bit, get up and leave the crate. Leave the door open, leaving the choice to stay in the crate with your dog.
Step
6
Practice
Anytime you would like to see your Yorkie go into the crate on his own, take him to the crate and place a treat inside. Let him get used to the crate with the door open for several days if possible. Once he's used to going in the crate on his own and you need to leave the house or it's time to go to bed at night, you can begin to close the door.
Step
7
Redirection
Your Yorkshire Terrier puppy will probably whine the first few times you close the door. If he is tired, he will settle down. If he is not sleepy it might not yet be time to close the door. If you need to leave the house, however, keep him in the crate and know he will settle down. Make sure he has a safe chew toy for entertainment and try not to leave him too long.
Recommend training method?

The Daytime Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Crate placement
Place your Yorkshire Terrier's crate in a busy place within your house such as near your kitchen or in your family room. You want your Yorkie to hear the sounds of the house while he's napping.
Step
2
Playtime
Your Yorkie will nap a lot in his first several months of life. But he also needs to play. And playtime will wear him out, making him want to nap. Play with him for a bit before taking him potty and then lay him down to sleep.
Step
3
Potty
Be sure to take your pup to his potty spot to go potty after playtime before his naps. You do not have to schedule naps for your Yorkie, just know he's going to be tired and sleeping a lot throughout the day.
Step
4
Inside the crate
Place your Yorkshire Terrier inside his crate for his nap times during the day. If you catch your little Yorkie napping somewhere besides his crate, just pick him up and place him in his crate. Most days he'll be too tired to move, especially during these early months of life.
Step
5
Door
Anytime your Yorkshire Terrier is sleeping in his crate, close the door. Before opening the door to let him out, let him awaken and let you know he's awake by whining or barking.
Step
6
Once awake
As soon as your Yorkie is awake from his nap in his crate, take him outside to go potty.
Step
7
Continue practice
Place your Yorkshire Terrier in his crate anytime you need to leave the house or anytime he is sleeping. When you are ready to move to nighttime training, begin to place him in his crate for night sleep as well. Remember not to leave your Yorkie in his crate for more than a few hours at a time while he's potty training to avoid any crate accidents.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Mac
Yorkshire Terrier
8 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Mac
Yorkshire Terrier
8 Weeks

I have had Mac for 4 days. I’m trying to crate train and do outside. I take him out about once every hour, but he is still having accidents inside. I’m a little confused about when he is sniffing to go potty.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Victoria, Try this: place Mac into the crate for one hour. After an hour, take him outside to go potty on a leash. Tell him to "Go Potty", and give him slack in the leash to allow him to sniff around in a five to ten foot radius. Stand still and be patient but redirect him back to the area he should be sniffing when he gets distracted and starts to play. If he does not go within ten minutes, then take him back inside and put him back into the crate for thirty to forty minutes. After thirty to forty minutes take him back outside to try again. Repeat this until he goes potty outside. Only after he goes potty outside should you give him freedom in the house, and when you give him freedom, only give him forty five minutes of freedom at a time, until he improves at potty training. After forty five minutes of being free, put him back into the crate for another fifteen to thirty minutes, and then take him outside again after that, and repeat placing him back into the crate if he does not go when you take him, or giving him another forty five minutes of freedom if he does go. The idea is for him to only ever be free while he is supervised and while his bladder is empty. That's why after forty five minute of freedom you place him back into the crate for another fifteen minutes, until it is time to take him outside to go potty again. Also, make sure that your crate is the correct size. The crate should be big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lay down, but not so big that he can have an accident in one end and stand in the opposite end away from it. That size will encourage him to use the crate like a toilet. Also make sure that you are cleaning up any accidents with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes. The enzymes will break down the pee and poop enough for him not to smell it. Other cleaners only remove the smell enough for us to not smell it, and any lingering smell will encourage him to eliminate in that same area again later. If he will not eliminate outside, then try purchasing a spray designed to encourage elimination. This type of spray can be found online or at most large pet stores. If is generally called "Hurry Spray", "Training Spray", "Puppy Training Spray" or something similar. You can spray it on your yard right before you take him to that area, when he smells it it should encourage him to eliminate there if he needs to go. At this age he should sleep a lot in the crate, but when he is free during the forty five minutes, watch him carefully and give him toys to play with, teach him new tricks, play with him, or stimulate him in other ways at least some of those times. When you crate him I also encourage you to place dog food stuffed chew toys, such as Kongs, in the crate with him to encourage calm behavior, good chewing habits, and quietness. When you are not interacting with him or paying close attention to him, then you can also attach him to yourself with a long leash and give him a toy to chew on. This will help him to learn to stay with you, settle down, and occupy himself. It will also prevent him from wandering off and having an accident. If you do all of this and he is still having frequent accidents despite having an empty bladder while free and being supervised, then take him to your vet to have him evaluated for a urinary tract infection, which can make him pee very frequently. Also be aware that at eight weeks of age your pup can only hold his bladder for two to three hours during the day, and developmentally it might take him a bit to catch onto potty training. The main goal at this age is to prevent as many accidents as possible so that he does not become used to peeing inside the house and to reward him for peeing and pooping outside so that he will start to want to eliminate outside instead. If you do that, he should begin to catch on as he gets older with consistency. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Rylee
Yorkshire Terrier
10 Weeks
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Question
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Rylee
Yorkshire Terrier
10 Weeks

Rylee is my mom's puppy, she got her as a pal for her 6.5 yo Shitzu (who never showed interest in other dogs). Long story short my mom should not have gotten another dog, let alone a puppy as she has no time or patience to train her. I refuse to live with another untrained dog but my mom's not much help (indoor pad training, and taking her out of her crate and into bed with her when she whines). How do I try to crate/"paddy" train when 1, our schedules are so different, and 2, she's not a reinforcer..? Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ashley, Probably the easiest way to potty train her if you wish to train her to use Pee Pads is to use the "Exercise Pen Method" in the training article I have linked bellow. That method will require the purchase of an Exercise Pen but requires far less supervision than typical crate training, which does not appear to be working if your mother simply lets the puppy out when she cries. This method is for litter box training but you can use it for Pee Pad training as well by simply using Pee Pads in place of a litter box, unless you decide that you would prefer to use a litter box long term, which would be fine also since your puppy will be a small dog. Here is the link to that article. Look at the method entitled "The Exercise Pen Method". https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lady
Yorkshire Terrier
10 Weeks
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Question
0 found helpful
Lady
Yorkshire Terrier
10 Weeks

Our family just got our first Yorkshire terrier a few days ago. I realize put little Lady is still very young, but potty training has already been a nightmare. She has pooped and peed all over my house since the day we got her. I'm trying to crate train her and potty train her to go outside but I feel like all of my efforts have failed. She cries and cries when we put her in the crate, day or night. Also, when I take her outside to go potty, she will wait it out, not go outside and then when I bring her back in, she goes on the floor in my house. Today our family spent an hour outside with her after her nap and she would not go. So we came inside to eat dinner and put her in her crate immediately. She cried and cried and then she peed in her crate. I feel like giving up...do you have any advice?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Leah, I know it is exhausting but ten weeks is very young. She probably needs to mature a bit more mentally before the lesson will sink in. Usually twelve weeks is about when a puppy begins to catch on to potty training if you are consistent up to that point. What you can do to help her is follow the "Crate Training" method from the article that I have linked bellow. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside That method includes rewarding Lady whenever she eliminates outside and being more strict with the crate to avoid opportunities to pee. Purchase a potty encouraging spray, such as "Potty Here" or "Hurry Spray". Spray that on the area where you want her to go potty outside and then walk her over to that area on leash and let her sniff the area. Practice taking her outside on leash, rewarding her if she goes potty, and returning her to the crate for thirty minutes before trying again if she does not go potty. If she seems hesitant to go in front of you that can be related to being punished for having an accident inside. To improve that, stop punishing her for accidents. Instead simply interrupt her accident and take her outside to finish when you catch her. If she has already gone, then simply clean up the accident and let it go. Also, when you take her outside, take her on a thirty-foot leash and let her wander away from you to go potty. When she goes potty, then praise her and toss treats over to her. When she becomes comfortable peeing outside on the long leash, then you can gradually decrease the length of the leash overtime, until she is peeing on a normal six-foot leash. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Thank you for the advice! I think she's having trouble learning because she's so young. Also, other than verbal praise, I haven't been giving her treats when she goes outside. I haven't punished, yelled or spanked because I know that only creates fear and it doesn't teach her. When she goes inside, I try to catch her in the act, but I can't always catch her in time. When Lady has gone outside, she has no problem going right next to me. I like your recommendation of giving her treats and returning her to the crate if she hasn't gone. I will definitely start that today. Thank you so much!

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Question
JACKSON
Yorkie terrier
2 Years
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Question
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JACKSON
Yorkie terrier
2 Years

GOT JACKSON A FEW DAY AGO, NEVER HAVE CRATE TRAINED BEFORE. WHAT DO I DO?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kristin, I have attached an article below. Follow the "Surprise" method to get him used to the crate. I can also use the other methods from that article at the same time. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once Jackson is used to the crate, if you need to potty train using the crate, then follow the "Crate Training" method from the other article that I have linked below to do that. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Ronnie and Reggie
Yorkie
13 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ronnie and Reggie
Yorkie
13 Weeks

Hi,

I have adopted 2 yorkie puppies from the same litter. Since getting them I have started to look up training methods only to find everyone advising to avoid getting 2 puppies :(
I have had them 4 days and we suspect they are eating their own poo(or each others). I want to start crate training them, what is the best way to do this? I have read all of the above but are their crates to be together or separate, and where should they sleep whilst they get use to the crate? They are currently sleeping together on a puppy bed. We have puppy pads out for their toilet activity during the night which they have been good at using however we have woken up to no poo for a couple of mornings and I have seen them eating poo on occasion so i think they are eating it whilst we sleep :(
I was so excited about getting my two puppies but after reading everything I feel really upset and just want them to have the best life with me and my partner.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gabrielle, Try not to feel discouraged about what you are reading. Many people advise others not to get two puppies at the same time because two puppies are twice as much work. You have to train commands separately at first, making it very time consuming. That does not mean that it will not turn out wonderful though. It simply means that you will need to be extra committed, and then you can enjoy twice as much dog as the puppies mature into well behaved adults, that you have spent time training. Many people have two dogs, they typically just spread the puppihood out more, getting one at a time. It is just as much work just not all at the same time. Crate training is a great idea and doing potty training with crate training will help a lot with the poop eating because you will be with them when they go potty, so you can clean up the poop before they eat it and reward them with treats instead. Preventing poop eating from becoming a long-term habit is the goal with that. Many puppies eat poop. Many will also outgrow it as long as you are vigilant about picking up the poop while they are in this phase. You can also purchase food additives to make their poop taste less appealing, but honestly some puppies will still do it and simply need more supervision. Adding a small amount of plain canned pumpkin to their foods with the permission of your vet will make the poop less appealing to the puppies sometimes. That is an inexpensive, healthy option to try before resorting to other pet food additive products. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Crate Training" method. This method will cover crate introduction, schedules, rewards, supervision, and a couple of tricks. I recommend reading the entire article too because you can combine the "Crate Training" method with one of the other methods too, once the puppies start to get the hang of potty training and are not having accidents most of the time. You can stick to just he "Crate Training" method too though. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside When you crate them, I recommend crating them each by themselves, in two separate rooms, the majority of the time. Doing that will help each puppy learn how to be by himself, which can prevent separation anxiety later on, and the need for the other puppy to always be present. Doing that when you have two puppies can help with a lot of the over-attachment issues you may have read about happening with two puppies, and it is typically just as easy to do as crating them next to each other. Have separate be the norm, but you can occasionally crate them with their crates by one another too, as long as they also learn how to be apart. Essentially, it is flexible, as long as they are not together all the time when you are gone. For sleeping situations, there are two options. One option is to put each puppy in his crate in the room where you plan to keep it and let them cry it out the first few nights, except for when they wake up to go potty. Because it is night-time, they should get tired enough that they will stop the crying within a couple of hours and go to sleep. When they wake up four to seven hours later, take them to go potty, but let them cry it out again when you put them back into the crate after taking them outside. During the day, when they are awake, follow the steps from the article that I linked above to help them learn to like the crate also. The second option is to keep the puppies where they are sleeping right now for about four days, while you introduce the crates just during the day, making the crates pleasant and the process more gradual. Once they are a bit used to the crates from four days of practicing the training, then put the puppies in the spots where they will sleep and let them cry if they protest. By that point, they will be used to the crates enough that the crying should mainly be protesting the new change and not because the crate itself is frightening to be in. This last method is the one I generally recommend for young puppies when you can do it this way, simply because it's a bit gentler. Within two weeks both methods typically create the same results though and puppies learn to relax in their crates just as well with the first and second methods. The first night is just harder with the first method. Do the one that is easiest for you. If the puppies are being crated in separate rooms during the day, it is also alright to crate them in different parts of your room while they are young enough that they need to be taken outside during the night. Once they are old enough to hold their bladders during the night, typically by five months of age, if you ever want them to be able to sleep in a different room than yourself, you will need to move their crates into another room and possibly let them cry for a couple of nights while they adjust. If you do this, move their crates into their permanent sleeping rooms/spots no later than five months of age. You can go ahead and start in their permanent spots, or start them in your room at night, have them in separate rooms during the day, and move their crates at night later on. Simply purchase an audio baby monitor to listen out for night wakings while they still need to be let outside at night if they are not in your room. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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